Former Renault Sport Team Vitality Driver in the F1 Esports Series Kimmy Larsson sees the eligibility to take part in the 2019 Pro Draft a second chance to prove his worth with the series.
The 2019 F1 New Balance Esports Pro Series will commence on July 17th with the first live show of the season in London, showcasing the Pro Draft which will see all ten official Formula 1 teams decide which gamer will join their team.
This year’s edition will see thirty six gamers who qualified through Codemasters’ F1 2018 Game race in heat races on Tuesday 16th July to decide which drivers will enter the final pool. The final pool will the join six drivers who were released from the 2018 season and have accepted eligibility to re-enter the championship via the Draft.
Swedish racing driver and gamer Larsson is one of the six gamers who competed in last year’s championship, having been picked in the second round by Renault. Larsson took part in several races, shifting driver roles with team-mates James Doherty and Sven Zurner. The team finished ninth, and last overall in the teams’ championship.
Reflecting on his period with the Enstone based team, Larsson said that joining and being part of the Renault team was educational and an honour.
“It has certainly been an honour for me to have been part of a F1 team. This was my goal ever since I started racing Gokarts at the age of seven,” said Larsson
“The last season with Renault Sport Team Vitality in the F1 Esports Series was for me, very educational, and I am grateful to Renault that gave me this opportunity.”
Larsson ended the 2018 campaign 22nd overall with only one point to his name in the seven races he participated in. His only point came in race eight at Singapore with a tenth place finish.
After the 2018 season ended, Renault opted for a fresh line-up for 2019 by releasing both Larsson and Zurner, with the team introducing Cedric Thome and former real-life MP Motorsport driver Jarno Opmeer. Doherty remains at the team, but has stepped up to become Renault Esports’ team manager.
Majority of the teams in the F1 Esports series have released drivers to make space for new entries from outside of the series or in this year’s Pro Draft. For 2019, every team must pick one driver from the Pro Draft. Champions Mercedes AMG Petronas Esports let go of 2018 runner-up Daniel Bereznay, who has joined Alfa Romeo Racing F1 Esports with his partnership with Veloce Esports.
Larsson revealed that he was told the status within the team in March, where ultimately he would be released from the team and become a free agent.
“I found it out after a month after visiting the Renault F1 HQ in March, we had a meeting about me staying in the team or not.
“Of course it is tough to leave Renault, that however gave me lot of determination, so who knows how it will turn out later on.
The released drivers from 2018 have been eligible to re-enter the series through this year’s Pro Draft. Six drivers, including Larsson have agreed to be part of the Draft again.
Larsson sees this year’s Draft as a second chance to prove himself within the series, but knows the process will be hard this year with new drivers wanting to join the championship.
“To get picked this year again would be a privilege, it will be hard, but I will give it all I’ve got,” commented Larsson.
“Yes, I do see this as a second opportunity which I will go into full heartedly in order to perform at my very best.”